Nathan Collins (def) Wolves; Mark Flekken (gk) Freiburg; Mads Bech Sörensen (def) Groningen – end of loan;
Mads Bidstrup (mid) Salzburg; Halil Dervisoglu (att) Galatasaray; Joel Valencia (att) released; Pontus Jansson (r) (def) released; Saman Ghoddos (att) released; Tariqe Fosu (att) released; Fin Stevens (def) Oxford – on loan
After securing a 13th-place finish in their first season in the Premier League, Brentford managed to clinch an impressive ninth-place finish last season. Under one of the league’s most tactically flexible managers in Thomas Frank, Brentford competed for a top-seven spot until the last game of the season but they narrowly missed out. Key striker Ivan Toney scored 20 times, including 14 non-penalty goals, but he was banned until January 16, 2024, and is not allowed to train until September 2023 for breaching betting rules.
Known for their clever recruiting, Brentford have decided against spending big again this summer. However, they made some smart moves, acquiring the services of experienced centre-back Nathan Collins to replace starter Pontus Jansson, as well as Freiburg’s starting goalkeeper Mark Flekken, who is expected to be the first-choice shot-stopper, with David Raya being close to departing the team.
Frank will be asked to find a solution to his main issue, which is copying with the absence of Toney, who is expected to return to action for the second half of the season. Collins and Flekken could jump straight into the starting line-up, but Frank is not expected to make many twists ahead of his third season in the top-flight.
Brentford’s main strength is that they’ve managed to keep their spine intact since securing Premier League promotion in 2021. All players have faith in Frank’s philosophy and fans in the stands enjoy the end product throughout the season.
Toney’s absence is undoubtedly their biggest weakness. Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa netted a combined 16 goals last season, but Toney is something more than the team’s top scorer – he’s Brentford’s leader, set-piece taker and franchise player.
Aiming for a European spot would mean trying to punch above their weight for yet another season, but Brentford have demonstrated that they have what it takes to make their fans' dream come true.